You may not be aware of how detrimental the accusation of a sexual assault – commonly referred to as “rape” – actually is. In fact, this is among the most serious crimes of which you can be charged. Penalties, if you are convicted, are so serious that they are occasionally nicknamed “life-enders.” If you are in the “valley of the sun” and find yourself accused of sexual assault by another person, you need to engage an experienced and reliable Phoenix criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Punishments for Sexual Assault
The crime of a sexual assault is a class two felony even on a single, first offense. This means that the minimum sentence you will receive, if you are found guilty, is 5.25 years in prison, while the assumed sentence is seven years. Even more alarming is that at a maximum, you could get 14 years behind bars. These penalties only go up if you have prior felony convictions. This is no laughing matter at all, and is why you need to contact a criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix right away if you discover that you are charged with such a crime.
According to Arizona Revised Statute 13-1406, the penalties are even more severe if you are accused of having employed any type of mind- or state-altering drug in the sexual assault. The presence of a “date rape drug” in your case adds another three years of prison time to the sentence. If you are found guilty of causing any intentional or knowing infliction of serious physical injury to the victim in the course of the assault, then you may be sentenced to life in jail. To avoid spending the rest of your natural life incarcerated if you are accused of a sexual assault, or rape, in Arizona, you should immediately contact a skilled defense law firm.
Other Penalties for Sexual Assault Convictions
Should you be found guilty of committing sexual assault, there is another severe punishment you will experience. It does not matter how old the victim is in this regard. You would be forced to register as a Sex Offender for the remainder of your life, once you have served out your prison sentence.
Defenses Against Sexual Assault Accusations
Naturally, the biggest defense against accusations of sexual assault and rape are that the accuser did agree to the sexual activities as they actually happened. This is why such charges are fraught with peril when they happen in the atmosphere of a bar or a college party. According to reports, women who were under the influence have filed false charges numerous times after having sex with a similarly drunk college male, and later deciding that they regretted the encounter for a wide range of reasons.
They might be concerned about their reputation, that their boyfriend would leave them, or even be upset with the so-called assaulter for any number of reasons. It could be that after a “wild night of hard partying”, a college girl suffers derision from her classmates who label her as “easy” in the face of her sexual practices. It is this moral regret that could cost you your freedom. If you have been falsely accused of sexual assault, contact an attorney who specializes in the area of criminal defense.
Time is of the Essence when facing serious criminal charges
It can’t be overstressed how important time is in cases where a person is accused of sexual assault against another individual. There may be medical evidence that has to be gathered, such as a rape kit and DNA report that must be presented to the experts of the defense to analyze. Witnesses from the party or bar in question have to be reached and immediately interviewed, any available video surveillance has to be obtained and considered, crime scenes must be diagramed and photographed, accusers need to undergo lie detector or polygraph tests, and last but not least character witnesses need to be determined and then interviewed to consider both the victim’s and defendant’s likelihood and reputation for lying and promiscuity.
For all of these critical reasons, it is so important to engage a dependable and skillful Phoenix criminal attorney when you are accused of sexual assault. An attorney with the knowledge of and background in all of the many potential defenses against a life-altering sexual assault conviction should fight for you. Remember to examine the firm’s track record of sexual assault case wins before you make your final determination on who will defend your life and future.